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[Retired] Official Lockout Thread

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Well that just sounds stupid... the concept of eastern and western conference wouldn't have existed under the new proposal. Also, what did they use to determine that 10% advantage, lol? Don't mean to derail the lockout conversation... but .. yeah... lol

The fact that the two divisions in the "Eastern" conference had 7 teams in them, while the two divisions in the "Western" conference had 8 teams each. SInce the top 4 teams from each division would make the playoffs, that means each of the teams in the "Western" divisions would have a harder time making the playoffs than the teams in the "Eastern" divisions, since they have one more team to compete with in their division.

I don't know if the actual percentage is 10% (I'll leave the actual amount to someone who's better at math than I am), but it's clear that it's fundamentally harder for teams in the "Western" divisions to make the postseason than teams in the "Eastern" divisions.

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Well that just sounds stupid... the concept of eastern and western conference wouldn't have existed under the new proposal. Also, what did they use to determine that 10% advantage, lol? Don't mean to derail the lockout conversation... but .. yeah... lol

The two divisions in the east would have 7 teams each, the two divisions on the west would have 8 teams each. The top 4 teams from each make it to the playoffs. Its not rocket science to see that the teams in the east would have had a very clear and pretty significant advantage in making the playoffs.

Edit: Didn't see Jedis post there, looks like he beat me to it.

Edited by sleepwalker

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Guest RedWingsDad

The fact that the two divisions in the "Eastern" conference had 7 teams in them, while the two divisions in the "Western" conference had 8 teams each. SInce the top 4 teams from each division would make the playoffs, that means each of the teams in the "Western" divisions would have a harder time making the playoffs than the teams in the "Eastern" divisions, since they have one more team to compete with in their division.

I don't know if the actual percentage is 10% (I'll leave the actual amount to someone who's better at math than I am), but it's clear that it's fundamentally harder for teams in the "Western" divisions to make the postseason than teams in the "Eastern" divisions.

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Thanks for breaking it down. I probably should have clarified the precise reasons for my "lol". I knew that the teams wouldn't be even, but it is quite silly to me that the whole (awesome) idea was scrapped by the NHLPA over just that... in favour of the current system. Adding an expansion team could have solved that problem. Clearly the owners weren't worried about the "10%" disparity. Going off on a tangent I know.. I had just never heard what the exact reason for scrapping the re-alignment was.

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Thanks for breaking it down. I probably should have clarified the precise reasons for my "lol". I knew that the teams wouldn't be even, but it is quite silly to me that the whole (awesome) idea was scrapped by the NHLPA over just that... in favour of the current system. Adding an expansion team could have solved that problem. Clearly the owners weren't worried about the "10%" disparity. Going off on a tangent I know.. I had just never heard what the exact reason for scrapping the re-alignment was.

I may be mistaken but I think the reason was because they had the power to scrap it and the fact that the owners just came up with it w/o consulting the PA. Probalby aslo a PR move to say that they wasn't just going to lay down and take whatever the owners wanted.

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Craig Custance has a good article on the negotiations so far.

It was a conversation before the craziness. A Monday afternoon chat when all we knew was that this week was a crucial one for negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA.

Red Wings forward Dan Cleary, one of the group of players who were in Toronto on Thursday to present the union's three offers, was asked a question that ignited an interesting answer.

Once a deal is ultimately struck, will both sides be able to come together amicably to help rebuild the game as a partnership?

"I think so," Cleary said on Monday. "When it comes time to have a partnership, which we all want, which we have to have -- if we don't have it, we'll have a lockout in six years. Again. We will, for sure."

And that's where we are right now. At a point in negotiations that impact not only how long the coming season will be but whether or not the two sides are setting up a growth-crushing cycle of a lockout every six or seven years.

The wounds inflicted now and the negotiation tactics used in an attempt to get a deal done aren't forgotten when it comes time to talk about a new deal down the road. Especially when so many of the key players are the same.

One former player who was very active in the previous negotiations between the league and the players that set up the last lockout shook his head in frustration at the news that came out of Toronto on Thursday.

"Now it sounds like it's going to be a long one, eh?" he said. "It's the same as last time, the same owners, [Jeremy] Jacobs and those guys."

The players remember these things. They'll remember that they took two days to consider the NHL's offer made earlier this week only to have their three counterproposals shot down in minutes.

Brendan Morrison is another player who has been through multiple negotiations and he explained why it was so important that the league make the next offer this week. It had nothing to do with current talks and everything to do with previous ones.

"Players are reluctant to really alter our current proposal simply because in '04-05, we felt we made a huge sacrifice moving forward -- gave up 24 percent [in rollbacks]," Morrison said earlier this week. "Our feeling at the time was, OK, if they do accept this, the deal is going to get done. Instead, they took that offer, put it right in their pocket and said, 'OK, thanks, what else are you going to do?'"

Scars from a previous negotiation that impact the current one.

It's been said often during these negotiations, but the next step is critical to these talks and potentially the long-term health of the game.

It's expected that another block of games will be canceled soon, but we've already seen a willingness to reschedule. That's not the end of the world.

The key in the coming days is that neither side digs in for a home run in these negotiations. Both sides have to feel like they're getting something.

There have been times during negotiations where Donald Fehr's motivations have been questioned, which is natural when an outsider steps into a tight-knit sport and immediately holds so much power. Was his ultimate goal to wipe out the salary cap and set up a system like baseball's? Was this an opportunity to secure his legacy as one of the all-time best labor negotiators? Or is he simply just trying to preserve as much money as possible for a group of athletes who are being asked for major concessions during a period of strong growth in their sport.

While the league quickly shot down the three offers made by the players Thursday, there has to be some reassurance in those offers to the NHL that Fehr is serious about a deal. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly made it clear that he didn't agree with the math, but at the very least there looks to be a willingness among the players to get close to 50/50. There's a deal to be made.

But at the same time, the owners have to show more give. There's still a perception out there that the NHL's offer this week came with major concessions from the owners. They were only major concessions when compared with their previous offers. Compared with the last CBA, the players were being asked for concessions across the board.

They're being asked for a paycut. They're being asked to wait longer for free agency. They're being asked to limit contract length.

Most players are actually very realistic on where they stand. They know they're going to take a hit financially in this next deal. That's just the reality when it comes to leverage. But there has to be at least something in it for them.

"We're willing to make major, major concessions over the term of the deal, but we would rather do it through growing the game rather than give them money up front," said one player. "And we're not just going to give you money for no reason; it has to be used properly."

The two sides aren't incredibly far off on the financial split. As Elliotte Friedman pointed out today, the two-tiered system where signed players keep their money and unsigned players take the future hit might be a workable solution.

It may be too late to save the entire 82-game season at this point, but it's not too late to find a deal that prevents a future cycle of lockouts. The long-term health of the game has to be the biggest priority.

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Thanks for breaking it down. I probably should have clarified the precise reasons for my "lol". I knew that the teams wouldn't be even, but it is quite silly to me that the whole (awesome) idea was scrapped by the NHLPA over just that... in favour of the current system. Adding an expansion team could have solved that problem. Clearly the owners weren't worried about the "10%" disparity. Going off on a tangent I know.. I had just never heard what the exact reason for scrapping the re-alignment was.

They didn't reject it because they didn't like it. They rejected it because they felt they didn't have enough information to properly evaluate it and the league wasn't interested in providing it to them.

"Players' questions about travel and concerns about the playoff format have not been sufficiently addressed. As such, we are not able to provide our consent to the proposal at this time," union head Donald Fehr said in a statement.

"We continue to be ready and willing to have further discussions should the league be willing to do so."

Fehr added the league had set a Friday deadline for the union to approve the plan.

Shortly after the plan was approved, commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHLPA had expressed concerns but that the league didn't need the union to sign off on the changes.

Fehr rejected Bettman's claim and said the proposed plan would have fallen under the players' terms and conditions of employment in the collective bargaining agreement.

"We were prepared for the realignment from the NHL, but we weren't given every bit of information regarding it. How can you make an educated decision without all the proper information?" said Florida Panthers player representative Mike Weaver.

"We asked for the reasoning and that reasoning was not produced. They were not open to discussions about it."

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=384427

Bettman basically implemented this plan without involving the union and dared them to kill it. It was the first F-You by the league to Fehr and the union, and a pre-cursor to how the CBA negotiations would go. (getting back on topic)

It's part of my problem with Bettman. Heading into a CBA negotiation instead of being diplomatic and involving the union he ignored them and literally said we don't need your approval. Great way to set the tone for coming negotiations.

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They didn't reject it because they didn't like it. They rejected it because they felt they didn't have enough information to properly evaluate it and the league wasn't interested in providing it to them.

Yeah, one of the big sticking points was that the players wanted a sample schedule to see what their travel schedules would really be like, and the NHL flatly refused to provide it. It seems impossible that the league wouldn't have made some sample schedules in the course of determining the realignment.

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Ryan Lambert with Puck Daddy had a scathing review of the League's (read: Bettman's) negotiating tactics. I'd recommend giving it a read.

I've left out a good chunk of the middle, because you really should go and give the whole thing a read. But I've included the parts that I agree with most.

Your recommendation should not be ignored. This is one of the best assessments of the situation to date; both scathing and absolutely truthful.

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This crap is exactly like politics these days. MY team is absolutely correct, and my opponents are all scumbags who are threatening to ruin the game/country/world. It's like everyone has lost the ability to be objective. NEITHER side has been negotiating in good faith, no matter how you spin it. BOTH sides are greedy and are working to get as much as they can. That doesn't change no matter who the commissioner is. They are fighting a PR war that, in the end, doesn't matter.

If the players caved today, and signed the last offer from the league, would you all be upset and not watch the games because the owners lost the PR war, but got what they wanted? If the league caved, would you be upset? It doesn't matter as long as they come back.

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I really don't want an 82 game season. Then they wouldn't suffer. They would be emboldened and know they could pull this crap every time the CBA ends and have it all work out. I want hockey back as much as everyone else, but they need to pay. And by "they" I mean the players and the owners. Best way to do that is to lose games and money and not be able to make them up. So I hope there's no deal for a while yet. Start in December or something.

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Dreger spreading some measured optimism:

Both sides believe there is a deal to be made. Some on the union's side predict a resolution sometime in November, while the NHL remains firm that Oct. 25 is its breaking point in maintaining an 82-game regular season.

...

There's strong belief that if common ground can be found on the systemic issues such as revenue sharing, free agency, salary arbitration, entry-level restrictions and contract length, the 'make whole' concept the NHL put together earlier this week can be mutually molded to close the deal.

...

Both owners and players are growing weary of the chest pounding and day by day the pressure on both sides to get a deal done is building.

http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/darren_dreger/?id=407723

I really don't want an 82 game season. Then they wouldn't suffer. They would be emboldened and know they could pull this crap every time the CBA ends and have it all work out. I want hockey back as much as everyone else, but they need to pay. And by "they" I mean the players and the owners. Best way to do that is to lose games and money and not be able to make them up. So I hope there's no deal for a while yet. Start in December or something.

I know what you're saying and would like both sides to feel the sting of this crap too. But last time they lost part of a season was in 95, which was followed by losing an entire year the next CBA negotiations.

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Guest Johnz96

Yeah

Yeah all that sounds a few people on here got together and wrote an article about what they thought....no proof of anything. Both the NHLPA and the NHL are wanting the moon and the stars and no one is willing to give anywhere. I lean more towards the owners simply for the fact that no other business in the world has it's employees making more money than the owners. That wouldn't be very smart of the owners.

The players are not only employees but also the product. i don't think many business owners are left with more than 40% of the revenues after paying their employees and all the costs involved in developing and producing their product

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With the latest cancellation of games I think that brings the grand total to 1,833 games lost under Bettman.

THAT'S gotta be a sports record

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This crap is exactly like politics these days. MY team is absolutely correct, and my opponents are all scumbags who are threatening to ruin the game/country/world. It's like everyone has lost the ability to be objective. NEITHER side has been negotiating in good faith, no matter how you spin it. BOTH sides are greedy and are working to get as much as they can. That doesn't change no matter who the commissioner is. They are fighting a PR war that, in the end, doesn't matter.

If the players caved today, and signed the last offer from the league, would you all be upset and not watch the games because the owners lost the PR war, but got what they wanted? If the league caved, would you be upset? It doesn't matter as long as they come back.

The best pr either side could have is to do get a deal done.

Dreger spreading some measured optimism:

I wonder who on the union side is saying a deal will be done in November?

Here's a nice article putting it all into perspective

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nhl--nhl-and-nhlpa-wasting-time-with-scare-tactics-and-pr-stunts-instead-of-settling-cba.html

Edited by chances14

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The best pr either side could have is to do get a deal done.

I wonder who on the union side is saying a deal will be done in November?

I don't know. I highly doubt it was Fehr. Maybe an optimistic player?

Here's a nice article putting it all into perspective

http://sports.yahoo....ttling-cba.html

That is a good article.

It pretty well sums up why I blame the owners more than the union. (as a pre-emptive measure and to be clear, I also blame the union, just the owners side more).

They locked out the players for an entire season in 2004-05, and they got a salary cap and a 24-percent salary rollback. Now, despite seven years of record revenues, they're locking them out again and asking for more, more, more. They want them to go from 57 percent of HRR to 50, right now, when that represents $231 million a year, if revenues are flat. They want to tighten contracting rules, when loosening them was their concession last time. Their opening offer was too harsh, and now they're being only less harsh, and they're still being stubborn.

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Guest RedWingsDad

They didn't reject it because they didn't like it. They rejected it because they felt they didn't have enough information to properly evaluate it and the league wasn't interested in providing it to them.

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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=384427

Bettman basically implemented this plan without involving the union and dared them to kill it. It was the first F-You by the league to Fehr and the union, and a pre-cursor to how the CBA negotiations would go. (getting back on topic)

It's part of my problem with Bettman. Heading into a CBA negotiation instead of being diplomatic and involving the union he ignored them and literally said we don't need your approval. Great way to set the tone for coming negotiations.

It's too bad the players union stopped the re-alignment, I believe it was sorely needed. I wish the league could make business decisions without having to get prior approval from employees who in vast majority aren't experienced in running a business.

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It is. Of the 4 major sports, the NHL leads by a longshot.

Granted the NFL has a lot fewer games per season, but it's still a ton compared to baseball and basketball.

How many players have suffered all 3 lockouts? Selanne springs to mind, but he can't be the only one. I wonder is someone will fail to make it into the HOF because of the points total they lost under the lockouts.

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After reading all three proposals by the players and the latest one by the league, one thing is certain.....

None of the proposals are close to 50/50 right out of the gate as was touted by either side.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/19875/donald-fehrs-latest-letter-to-players

Even in Fehr's latest letter to the players where he outlines the proposals, the final proposal in which he said the split goes down to 50/50 right away, in reality it does not. Its similar speak like what we heard in the NHL proposal where they touted the 50/50 split but it really wasn't.

Right now, both sides are just playing the PR card. I also don't believe that both sides are negotiating in good faith. Especially when the league and the players can't stand listening to the other sides proposals for longer than 15 minutes and meeting for more than 1-2 hours at a time. Its readily apparent to me that these are two sides that don't trust each other. Now you can say this is the fault of the respective sides, the leaders that they chose, or the culture of the players vrs owners. I don't know which it is, but I can say that both sides do not trust each other and there is some dislike between the sides.

Firing Bettman and Fehr wouldn't solve the trust issue right away, but it is a start. In the past, these leaders were chosen to get the most for their side and not consider the other side. The leaders of both sides have to be canned in order to bring in fresh blood that is all about working with each other, not against. This should spark a culture change between both sides and assist with future negotiations.

As for the issue we have today, both sides have got to pressure their leaders to get into a room and work on a deal. Right now, it seems that both sides are happy just sitting on their asses and letting the season slip away. That should make any Bettman or Fehr fan unhappy.

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It's too bad the players union stopped the re-alignment, I believe it was sorely needed. I wish the league could make business decisions without having to get prior approval from employees who in vast majority aren't experienced in running a business.

That's exactly the result Bettman wanted. It to look like the union killed a good idea for no good reason.

Hockey is entertainment and NHL players are ultimately elite talent. For those who think hockey players are just employees, I suggest you watch any other hockey league. Hockey is hockey, so there shouldn't be any difference, right?

Bettman is lucky that he's the commissioner of hockey and not some other sport because hockey probably has the smallest egos and fewest primadonnas. Can you imagine if NBA players were treated like this?

It was a stupid move on his part and achieved nothing other than setting a hostile tone before the CBA negotiations even began. If Bettman had any diplomacy skills he could've got the realignment approved and started a better relationship with players and Fehr headed into the CBA.

It wasn't that the players were against it. It's that it was sprung on them and they had little information to go on and the league wouldn't bother to provide it. Employees or not these are the guys who's lives and careers would be most effected by realignment. From their chances at winning the Cup down to how much they'd be on the road away from their family.

To not include them was terrible talent management by Bettman. It's like his short-man syndrome prevents him from making any move other than wielding whatever power he has.

How many players have suffered all 3 lockouts? Selanne springs to mind, but he can't be the only one. I wonder is someone will fail to make it into the HOF because of the points total they lost under the lockouts.

I read somewhere that Jagr was the only one to have played through all three lockouts. But you're right, Selanne has too.

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...

I read somewhere that Jagr was the only one to have played through all three lockouts. But you're right, Selanne has too.

Ray Whitney, Jason Arnott, and Chris Pronger (if you consider him as still playing) too. Probably a few more.

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I read somewhere that Jagr was the only one to have played through all three lockouts. But you're right, Selanne has too.

Martin Brodeur has as well.

Edited by Nightfall

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